Three key SA players doubtful for Pakistan opener

Johannesburg: Three key South African players have joined the squad for Twenty20, One-dayers and Test series against Pakistan in Dubai, but there is still doubt whether they will play early in the games.

Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn had to miss the recent series at home against Zimbabwe as they were recovering from injuries.

“Everyone in the group is ready, but not necessarily for the first match on Tuesday,” coach Corrie van Zyl told the Afrikaans daily Beeld, adding that a decision would be taken ahead of the game.

Team manager Doc Moosajee said the three players might play in the opening match: “If they are ready for the two T20 games, they will play. That’s why they were taken up in the group.”

Meanwhile, one-day and Test captain Graeme Smith was guarded in his comments about the recent allegations of irregularities by Pakistani players during their tour of England.

“We can’t deny what has happened,” Smith told Beeld. “But this series against Pakistan is an important phase in our preparation for next year’s World Cup and we have faith in the ICC and its anti-corruption unit to ensure that the matches are thoroughly competitive.”